As you know I signed up for a couple of dating apps as a way to supplement my fiction writing, and given by the feedback on that introductory post from many of you, it appears you want to know more about my experience.
Well, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
As you know, I registered using a pen-name of mine. I have a few, some of them active, some of them not (or not anymore, or may be again). I picked one and went from there.
Disclaimer: If this makes you feel queasy and you’re about to hurl insults at me for doing this while living at home with the family, go back and read the introductory post (linked for you above). Or stop reading and go away.
So. I downloaded a dating app. What happened next? I don’t know if all the apps are the same, I’m only using two (a pretty popular one – not tinder – and a not so popular one), but I assume they’re all following a similar path.
First, the preliminaries:
I am a woman, this is my birthday, I am seeking men and my name is ‘pseudonym‘.
Note 1: the choices for seeking was women, men or both. Meaning, the algorithm doesn’t give a hoot about your orientation, they just want to know what gender to match you with.
Note 2: there is a whole thing about age that I will address at a later point.
Profiles on dating apps
As you can imagine, I was kinda nervous filling out the profile. I’m going in as clandestine, pseudonym, for research purposes, not as a single woman seeking a man for companionship and sex hah. 🙄
I know that many people are lonely, and seeing companionship (not just sex) especially while still in this pandemic, so I want to be as transparent as possible with my information. Last thing I want to do is lead lonely men down some sinister path.
As I mentioned in my introductory post, I referred to two problems with these dating apps: catfishing, and fake profiles. I won’t run through these again now, but rather tell you how I filled my profile out.
One of the first questions, once they determine what gender you identify as (just so I’m keeping things politically correct), is what algorithm they’re going to activate for you in terms of potential suitors/partners. I said I was seeking men, so I will only see the profiles of men in my feed. This suits my research since I write about heterosexual liaisons, not bi- or poly- or whatever else is out there.
- Name – my pseudonym
- Summary – a few words about myself
- Hometown – left blank
- Work – writer
- Interests – choose from a large pre-selected list
- Trending topics – answer some pre-selected questions
As stated, I chose a pen-name with some trepidation. However, in the summary, I was able to divulge that my name is a pen-name, and did. I kept the summary short and sweet basically saying I’m a writer looking for other writers to share story ideas. Essentially, I’m admitting I’m looking for some muses.
I left the hometown blank because it’s irrelevant right now (covid) and most of my connections are online anyway. For work, I said writer which is a bit of a fib since I’m not always paid for my writing (I’ve had writing and editing contracts in the past so it’s not completely incorrect). But that’s the only thing I’m doing right now (writing) so I put it in.
In terms of the pre-selected list of choices for the next two options, I was kind of stumped with the limitations. For instance, writing was not among a choice of hobbies or interests. Coffee shops was, or going to museums, working out, hiking, cooking, lots of sports options including doing the sport itself or watching it…I picked blogging, coffee shops and cooking and left it at that.
The trending topics were annoying to me but if I were in a serious dating situation (i.e. looking for a companion to spend time with) I would probably either fill out some of them, or make up my own. Examples were On my winter bucket list, One winter tradition COVID can’t take away, A new habit I’m bringing into 2021, Favorite winter memory, My perfect cold-weather date night…
I really don’t like any of these choices so I left them blank. Besides, expressing frustration or, you know, rage, at this ongoing lockdown madness would be relatively futile anyway since we’re all in the same geographical vicinity exposed to the same political fiascos and probably all equally fed-up.
Sorry not sorry.
After I filled out the preliminaries, I was taken to the next list, called Basics. And here is where it gets interesting.
To be continued…